Category Archives: 2 Minute Thoughts

तन्हाई

तन्हाई का यह रंग कुछ नया सा था
इस बार कुछ अलग ही चाल भी
आवाज़ भी बोल भी तो मैं भी सोचने
लगी कुछ तो है बदला बदला सा है
आवाज़ नींद में भी जैसे गूँज रहा हो
ऐसा जैसा कोई पुकार रहा हो
बस दूर से एक आवाज़ बस शब्द
न कोई चेहरा न कोई पहचान
अँधेरा जैसे कुछ कम हो गया हो
जैसे दिल मैं कोई नया सा राग
कुछ हल्का होने का अहसास
कुछ नया भिगाडके बनने का आस
कुछ नयी सी रौशनी
पर विश्वास जो टूट गया हो
जल्दी वापस नहीं जुड़ती
तो बस अब समय
का इंतज़ार है
यह रास्ता किस तरफ मुड़ेगा
चलो यह भी देख लेते है

Lost sky

Come this way I told the sky

I spread my skirt and made some space

among the clouds I searched for him

and the sky said he had lost his way

between the azure, the dark purple ones and the light

blues of the fluffy candies of the heaven

‘I have lost my way with too many goodies

I know not which one to choose’

funny, said I, if only you knew the worth

you would pick the right one up

‘but you see’, said the sky half laughing

‘last time I chose I was slapped twice!’

What the tree said!

Coz you can’t see our tears

don’t think that we don’t cry

coz you won’t know the colour of our blood

don’t assume that we don’t bleed

coz you see us rooted and incapable of escape

don’t believe that we succumb

the lives that we bear

the hopes that we spread

the stories that we have heard

and choose not to tell

are not yoursto know

who ever built to perish!

only men will know!

not every scream is loud

nor is every pain palpable

not every drop of blood is red

nor is every silence an acceptance

whoever built to perish!

only the men will know!

Then the oracles shall speak!

Then the heavens shall tear!

PS: Development at Tumkur road

Just go girl!

Of many things that is difficult, is the ability to be with oneself. Really, to be able to accept who you are, how you are is a very difficult task.

For years I have known myself to struggle with self acceptance, I have sought validation from others, sometimes from work, at times from colleagues and often from my parents and always from my daughter.

The details of why this acceptance was difficult are not one but too many. Yet, there has always forever been a need to be heard and understood. If not understood but atleast to be heard, ‘hear me’, hear me out’ my soul seemed to cry out.

And then came writing and with it a huge sense of validation. A feeling of being heard and understood, maybe maybe not, but definitely the thirsty sharer in me, found a space, and a positive one at that.

Some time in 2014, I came to realise how all human experiences are more or less similar, though the timelines and the intensity may differ and that there is essentially no shame in sharing, that was partly because of ISABS and many other such experiences that I came to be part of. And that helped and stayed with me.

So, it is not difficult then to share, but to be understood is a different ball game altogether, but that is ok, I guess. Whoever felt understood totally, in life. When understanding self takes a whole life time, how can one expect others to make sense of who you are.

In all this introspection and the need to be heard, I decided to take myself out, yes, after quite sometime, I went out with myself. I was at leisure, I was the observer and the observed. I found it fascinating how the act of stepping out itself seemed to energize me.

Suddenly I was lighter and the world merrier and azure indeed!

Yes, I felt assured too, reassured of my time on the planet and maybe a small part of the ‘why’.

Sometimes, just sometimes then

go sit with yourself with a mug of coffee

spreading its aroma in the room and filling

your nostrils with an other worldliness

sometimes, just sometimes, go take yourself out

dress up and put on that dash of a lipstick

and admire yourself, feel beautiful

go saunter in the malls, stand and watch

its ok to do that alone, you are aware of it

for the onlookers you are just having a ball

so just have a heluva time with yourself

sit down at the restraunt and watch

and smile sometimes at random strangers

and be surprised when they smile back

the world is not all that bad or brooding nor dull

be your own good company, remember to love yourself

before you find someone to love you as your own.

Go pick up a cycle, barge into a dance class, enter a pub

do whatever that your heart calls for.

Cluck your heels, show your skirts short, long whatever

put on that pant, and that top and don’t be shy of showing

some skin, its ok, coz you know what Maya Angelou said

Coz in yourself, in your own true self, you are phenomenal too

go embrace yourself and put out a pic, don’t be afraid of judgement

after much living, what is with so much thinking

if in 50’s you are as you were in 20’s then what for

were the life changing experiences for you

what did you unravel, what layers did you shed

look yourself in the eye and the world looks up to you

Just go girl! Just go!

Why not to webinars

I often think of how asking ‘why not’ has changed my life in ways that are beyond my comprehension but definitely to my liking, yes, most of it, I must admit.

So when I am asked will you participate in the Toastmasters? ‘why not? ‘ , I go and end up reaching the finals. That experience in 2014 sort of cemented my urge to say ‘why not’ and I have landed up in most unlikely places eversince.

From the recent dandiya to the upcoming webinar on Enviornmental Communication to bringing out a book to what not? The why nots have definitely led a lot of what nots… and often has me surprised!

I hope to in the near future be only writing and doing my research of communities and community practices in Kerala with a bit of teaching for sustenance. To that end, I thought of putting up the invite to the upcoming webinar here and get some solid feedback so that I improve and continue learning.

Here it is!

Coz like Andrew Marvell told to his coy mistress a few centuries back

‘Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near:

And yonder all before us lye.

Deserts of vast Eternity.’

In the wake of swiftly changing climatic conditions its time we all did our bit, and hopefully the universe approve and watches over us!

Solo dance, Life

I sit at home grumpy,sad and irritated. There’s no friend in sight. Nobody. Not a soul.

Friends, colleagues families have packed and left for the long weekend. I knew this was coming. I knew I am going to feel low. I knew it is going to hurt big time and it did.

But it is difficult to reconcile with reality even when you know what is and why it is so. Except for Andrew’s long and short meows there is no noise at home. Instead of research that I should do I am angry and upset for no particular reason.

I wait for a friend to turn up. Friends have friends and families !!!! I am busy playing the victim, the god forsaken soul, left on an island… why? why?

Fine. I decide enough is enough solo is not solitude and like Matteo Bocelli I will find my way.

Solo, Matteo Bocelli

Besides I am good at taking care of myself. I will do it. So I set off to get a bicycle yep to ride to glory.

Its been years since I did it but it should be good. The cycle shops are not selling cycles anymore but a fashion statement and my purse is going to be stretched too far… I come back now less gloomy!

Anyways, back home I have a visitor, ‘ would you like to dance for the dandiya?’ dance, me! Well, I wanted to invite your daughter but since she is not here, why don’t you come, said the neighbour in a compensatory tone.

‘Ok!’ I say, desperate for company, ‘I would love to, nay, I will’ and end up attending 2 practice sessions and go all the way to hit the dance floor literally!

My body is not amused at such onslaught of vigor, ‘what for’. it demands angrily and sulks big time!

But dance I did in my effort to find new friends and some new spaces outside the books, research and I must say I enjoyed it.

Walking in alone into a space of families did make me feel awkward initially but soon I got over it and relaxed, I counselled myself and said, ‘its ok, afterall alone is no crime, you are in a happy space, don’t you see that!’

I did of course, and soon lost myself in the dance.

Sometimes you got to shake the statusquo! So I did!

And found a surprise visitor at home!

And a promise of a friend who said, ‘I come when I say I will’ and I had to laugh!

Then says my dear chechi, ‘Lekha come home tomorrow ok!’. ‘I will’, I say happily.

Who does one thank except the universe for such unexpected offers of good company!

Ain’t it a good life after all!

To Thesisification! Thathastu!

In order to quell the restlessness of my mind, running across different directions all at once and nullifying my efforts to pursue my researh interests, I take to the reading of ‘Autobiography of a yogi’ . I have read it before and will read it again. But to my surprise, there is a sense of calm that my mind refuses to allow me to open the facebook that evil occupier of my leisure time and directs me to read instead.

I am trying for sure and working hard too, but I do feel somewhat more empowered with this text by my side, a copy of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, a copy of ‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou and some notes put up on the window sill and the almirahs, where I decorate myself with such endearing adjectives like, ‘smart lekha’, disciplined sreelekha’, ‘dr.sreelekha’, ‘power of learning’, ‘researcher’, ‘disciplined researcher’ and other such hyperboles, help me drown my doubts of ‘too late, too much!!!’, can I ? Am I doing the right stuff?’ and other such nigglers and guide me to work, just work, to be able to do enjoyable reading and try to make something of it, is it not good enough?

To be able to ask questions and to be told’, oh, but you are the first person to ask us this? ‘ , ‘I never thought much of this’, ‘I would like to read what comes of all this!’ at once puts a hell lot of pressure and it excites the learner in me.

But all said and done, thathastu to the completion of the thesis!

The universe lends a hand and smiles as always at the inefficient, yet tireless striving of a miniscule being on the planet, ‘each to his own’ , muses she!

But why am I reminded of Dr. Faustus!!!!????

Of yeats and friends

http://www.elise.com/q/quotes/yeats.htm

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
“He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”
from the Collected Works of W.B. Yeats

If only one could tailor make friends who had time and good will, how wonderful it would be? How enchanting would such relationships of understanding be where words need not be spoken, mere thoughts would set sail, connect and collaborate? How is one to find souls alike in a journey so full of set backs?

Whither the sail, my friend, whither thy care and solace? What travails has the life to offer further? Wherefrom shall smiles now sprout from a soul so damaged?

What lessons, dear universe, does thou now offer? What tribulations to meet the journey’s end? Whither are the inns to spread one’s legs and sit down a bit, which comrade is to join to cheer?

Coz to walk the path of dreams is most difficult, to chin up and face is most daunting, tell me, dear universe, does thou send thy messaih, the saviour, the friend and the benefactor?

At what turn should she wait? What shall be the sign of care? Whither comes the stop?

Even the strongest can sometimes want to lean

the bravest sometimes might want to be shy

the winners may not always win

the courage too needs some filling

the giver may sometimes want to be given.

Thathastu to Thesis

How often is writing the observing of the observed and the observer? I wonder about the process and now the tumult that is in my head as I am trying to make sense of my research and getting to start to write my thesis.

I have been fence sitting to be honest, going around in circles of a task that is incumbent upon me. It is like I am always thinking about writing but not writing.

It sure worries my guide, and I see that in her.

It sure worries me too, yet I stand and watch how the process unfolds to get me to the stage of putting it out on paper.

A task so humungous that I am surprised I have come this far. A subject so dear that as I go about talking and reading I am caught deeper in its whirlpool and seem to meander about clueless of where I am heading.

It has been frightening, as if this last leg of the journey rather than being exciting, has been intimidating to me, scaring me of something I am not very sure of.

And the incessant call of the stories swimming around in the air I breathe, asking me to listen, just listen and speak, as if there are myriad souls wanting to find an intermediary, a voice, but am I good enough for that? And the work of course, with multiple excels that need submission almost on hourly basis, and my fear of anything numerical compounding my worries to no end.

I feel tossed and turned like a pendulum swinging against extremes, trying to hold my stance, worried, yet somewhere a feeling of satisfaction creeps in, as if the process painful as it is is also one of deep joy, that I should have the comfort of worrying about writing and not perhaps putting food on the table, that’s is a state of achievement in itself. A feeling that the worst is behind me keeps the smile stitched on the face.

Knowing the paths that have led me this far, I know of the learnings that have stood me in good stead and the friends that I have found on the way, and if death had to stop by and call, I would say happily, come, let’s go, I have done my part though of course, I could do more. Which of us can’t or won’t want to do more.

I seek the comfort of knowing that the the universe, sits by my side and eggs me to complete the learning process that I started before I jump headlong into the next.

I seek the presence of a soul for whom my learning was a ticket to a better life, though he chose a different path and left too early to another home, perhaps a better one, and gave me enough fodder to keep learning forever.

I look at my parents for whom my efforts at learning is a validation, being taunted for not learning enough in life, and living in a certain shame, which try as I do, they cannot seem to overcome, ‘after all we didn’t study beyond 10 th std’ is now replaced with amma’s constant crib, ‘if only I had the opportunity to learn’! to which I have no answer.

I look at her wilful spirit that recites a poem now and then, that learns sanskrit shlokas and talks with pride of the book I brought out and I have to smile, living as I do carrying the dreams of two in one life, that of my brother and mine, and sometimes tiring out in the labour of it all, yet finding strength as if from above.

I look at my daughter for whom it is ‘important to see you happy, ma and I know you can do it’.

So long, to my PhD Thesis writing, I bow and seek blessings from the universe and somehow deep down know that she says, ‘thathastu’.

ആത്മാവിന്റെ നിശ്ശബ്ദതകൾ

നിറങ്ങൾ കൂട്ടുന്ന
സ്വപ്നങ്ങൾ തീർക്കുന്ന
സൗഹ്രദങ്ങൾ കണ്ണ് നീര്
ഉതിർക്കുന്നതു സാധാരണയാണ്

ആത്മാവിന്റെ നിശ്ശബ്ദതകൾ
ഉണര്ന്നുമ്പോൾ ഉറങ്ങി കിടന്ന
മോഹങ്ങൾ വീണ്ടും ചലിക്കുമ്പോൾ
വേദനകൾ നിത്യ സാധാരണം തന്നെ

നിശബ്ദതയെ പുൽകി ഉള്ളിലേക്ക് മാത്രം നോക്കി
പുറം ലോകത്തെ അറിയാതെ വേണം ജീവിക്കാൻ
എങ്കിൽ മാത്രമേ വേദനകൾ സ്വാഭാവികമാണ് കരുതാനും
കണ്ണ് നീര് ആത്മാവിന്റെ സ്വന്തം നീർ ചോലയാണെന്നും
ആശ്വസിക്കാൻ കഴിയൂ

ആത്മാവിന്റെ നീണ്ട തണുത്ത ഇടനാഴികളിൽ നടന്നു
തന്നെ നീരിക്ഷിക്കുന്ന തന്നെ മനസ്സിലാക്കാൻ ശ്രമിക്കുന്ന
കാലത്തെ അവൾക്കു പലപ്പോഴും കണ്ടില്ലെന്നു നടിക്കേണ്ടി വന്നു
തന്നെ മനസ്സിലാക്കാത്ത കാലത്തെ താൻ എന്തിനറിയണം എന്ന്
അവൾ ചിന്തിച്ചിരിക്കണം

വിടരുകയും പൊലിയുകയും ചെയുന്ന പുഷ്പങ്ങൾ ആണ്
ജീവിത ബന്ധങ്ങൾ യാത്രകൾ മുന്നോട്ടു തന്നെ ആവണമല്ലോ
അത് കൊണ്ട് യാത്രക്കിടയിൽ കൈ കൊടുത്തും പുഞ്ചിരിച്ചും
സൗഹ്രദങ്ങൾ തീർക്കുക തന്റെ ഇഷ്ടത്തിന് ഒക്കണം എല്ലാം എന്ന്
വാശി പിടിക്കരുത് എല്ലാം നല്ലതിനെന്നു വിശ്വസിക്കുക

Ps:Life is a process of understanding the self